Things were going so well for Jordan Zimmermann. Through the fifth inning, he had allowed only two runs on four hits, striking out seven and looking really sharp in doing it. Then came the sixth inning, and that’s when it all came crashing down.
Derrek Lee led off with a double. Aramis Ramirez then hit a sharp grounder up the middle but right at a repositioned Willie Harris. Easy out, right? Not for these Nats. Harris booted the ball while falling down, a painful fielding error that proved even more costly moments later.
Jim Riggleman came to the mound, not to take Zimmermann out, but to talk about how to approach the next hitter, Milton Bradley. Zimmermann listened to the advice, because he blew away the slumping Bradley on three pitches. But then he eased up against Alfonso Soriano. Big mistake. Soriano crushed a first-pitch slider over the out of town scoreboard, and just like that the Cubs had a 5-4 lead and Nationals Park erupted like it was Wrigley Field East.
So that’s where we stand now heading into the seventh. Nats trail 5-4, hoping to get the equalizer against the Chicago bullpen.